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Survey on distribution of Mon

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Thought it may be of interest to see how Mon are distributed among different types of swords, I know it will be difficult to ascertain any reliable data but I'm sure there will be a trend or something interesting discovered(?). I would have attempted to collect data from the Identify our Mon thread but many examples don't have the types of blade listed. Obviously this can be skewed by the nature of how everyone collects but please indulge me for now. One thing I have come to recognize is they are most regularly found on Shin Gunto of all types with old blades, followed by Gendaito, quite rarely on Kai Gunto and very rarely on Showato. An observation on swords from Yasukuni & Minatogawa Jinja is that they rarely seem to carry Mon, however that could very well be a matter of smaller sample size and this was based off swords listed for sale over the years.

 

For simplicity Showato can encompass all non traditional blades such as Koa Isshin Mantetsu, Zohei-To & Murata-To, special steel swords, stainless and any bearing the usual Seki/Showa stamps.

 

So please, if you like, list your swords with Mon here as such.  

 

Of mine:

Old blades: 6 (two are only Koshirae)

Gendaito: 2 (one a Yasukuni)

Kai Gunto: 0

Showato: 0

Kyu Gunto: 0

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Hi John,

As you say...so many variables, but maybe this will help.

 

2 old blades in Type 98 mounts (mon = 2)

9 gendai 1926-1945 blades as follows:

4 in Type 98 mounts (mon = 2,, both missing)

5 in Type Rinji mounts (mon = nil).

 

1 Type 98 'spare part' kabuto gane with mon.

 

It is a strange thing but I have seen MANY Meiji-Taisho arsenal type brass hilted sabres with mon but very few 1940-1945 showato with mon...maybe the lack of mon shows that 1937-1945 officers were mostly 'called-up' for service and were not "traditional" army-alligned young men whereas back in Maiji-Taisho it was a "profession/brotherhood" one went in to and absorbed all the pride and thus needed to show one's family/clan etc to like-minded colleagues?

 

Maybe in WWII those officers who had the money to have a blade hand-made and mounted would be more likely to add a mon. 

Regards,

 

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John,

Interesting discussion!

 

I only have 2:

Kaigunto - 1

Kyugunto - 1

 

I second George's thoughts about the Kyu, as I can recall seeing several over the years.  Percentage-wise, seems they have mon more than showato 98s.

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Hi John,

Interesting indeed!

I have only one Gunto(98) with a mon and it is a showa seki blade! Atleast on the higher end of the Showa scale I think. You might have seen it before but i'll post it anyway :)

 

Oh, sorry for the photo spam 🙃

 

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What a fine example David, mounted in very good quality Type 94 or early Type 98 mounts as well, is it dated?

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G'day John

 

Old blades - 3 out of 4 have mon

Gendaito   -  0 of 1 have mon

 

Cheers,

Bryce

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Oh, didn't think show you my mon...One I no longer have, 2 have been ripped off...this is the only one ...this is on a mumei  shin-shinto/early gendaito in Type 98.

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Hi all,

 

Mon on my Naval kyu gunto. Maru ni katabami crest I believe. The kyu gunto contains a papered dated Eiroku 5 Bizen no kuni ju osafune Tadamitsu blade.

 

Best regards,

 

John L.

 

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1 hour ago, IJASWORDS said:

Don't know if this has been put up

Neil,

For George's survey - is the blade showato or gendaito?

 

Also, I don't recall ever seeing a mon on a Rinji-seishiki model before.  Seems like this was asked about in an older thread, but I don't recall if there have been examples.

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Thought that would throw you. It's on a '98, no date, no stamps, mumei. Don't know if it's old or early war. 

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Kiri Mon from the looks of it, some kind of Imperial connection, if memory serves me right the number of leaves above hold some significance. I bet it was owned by a higher rank officer, did it come with an original tassel by any chance? As for the blade maybe one of us could give you some details if we can see the Nakago.

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An old blade mounted for ww2. Returned from PNG. Probably acquired in Rabaul. Some suggestions from another thread in here that it could be, “kazu uchi mono”

 

close inspection of nakago, shows file marks end between mekugi-ana. The bottom section shows much older patina. The “new”section, from end of file marks to ha shows a hammered surface and younger patina. The “balance” of the blade seems too thin at the machi. The suggestion that it has been shortened seems to be supported.

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On 10/15/2020 at 7:00 PM, drb 1643 said:

Here you go Bruce, mon on a Rinji-seishiki.

Tom

IMG_0888.PNG

 

Wow...at last...another Rinji with a mon. Very nice too (Seki - metal scabbard?)! This is the first seen since that one with an anchor in a circle turned up. Well, confirmation, they are out there! (some more pics of fittings and blade?

 

This'll be good info for that gunto variations book you should be writing Bruce!! ha ha.  (Not to  hijack this thread), but I was looking through Fuller & Gregory 1980s  books (hard cover - on Mil swords etc and wow...how much we have learned since then...so much new / corrected info....just take the Rinji itself...we now know what it is.

Regards,

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1 hour ago, george trotter said:

.how much we have learned since then...so much new / corrected info....just take the Rinji itself...we now know what it is.

I agree George.  I just don't know how I'd pull it off.  Too many days spent babysitting granddaughter while daughter works.  Anyway, it would have to be a collaborative effort with pieces coming from various guys here at NMB.  I'd need a koshirae chapter from Neil, a Type 95 chapter from Shamsy and/or Stegel, I could do a chapter on Mantetsu and one on stamps, RJT from you/Vajo/others, we'd need a chapter from Hamish on Kyu, I know there are a couple of guys that could do a chapter on Kaigunto, DaveR - chapter on island swords and repair teams; John on tassels; ....... I'm sure I'm missing someone ........ oh mons - Malcolm; I'm sure there's more, and more guys I've missed!  And that's JUST SHOWATO!!!

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Bruce, I just was joking...meaning I noticed in skimming through the old 80s books I referred to, I noticed a considerable number of "uncertainties" that existed then have now been explained...the biggest mystery (for me) was the true facts on the Rinji Seishiki, and that was solved by Nick Komiya...but there is always room for update books on things such as mon/ribbons/combat covers/Mantetsu/showato/ NCO swords etc etc and their correct titles, as they would "correct" the continued  use of such "outdated"  names as Late 44, NLF, etc etc, but you are talking "a big project!...have we NMB grandfathers got enough years left?...in fact, all of the corrections I can think of came through warrelics and NMB didn't they...probably the two most reliable sites in their fields....probably easier to continue to rely on these?

Regards,

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